Monday, December 17, 2007

Feedback Needed Re: Term Contract - Class 525 - Library and Archival Equipment, Machines and Supplies

The Texas Procurement and Support Services (TPASS) office currently is evaluating the types of items covered under a state contract for "Library and Archival Equipment, Machines, and Supplies" that is planning to be bid in 2008.

Below is a list of the types of equipment, machines, and supplies that were covered under the previous contract that has expired. They are looking for feedback on what current items are utilized by libraries in these categories. Preferably by Friday, January 18th, 2008, please send any suggestions for possible items to be included to:

Chris Jowaisas
Administrator, Library System Grants & TANG
Library Development Division
Texas State Library & Archives Commission
512.936.2236 - 512.463.8800 (fax)
800.252.9386 (in Texas)

Please provide as much detail as is possible on each of the items, including the sub-class you think it would go in under the contract. Chris will compile the information and send it off to the TPASS staff.



NIGP Commodity/Services Code displayed here is copyrighted material that is to be used for reference purposes only and may not be downloaded without a license from Periscope Holdings, Inc.


Item Number and Commodity Descriptions

05 Archival Storage Materials (Acid Free): Document Cases, Envelopes, File Folders, etc.

10 Binders, Covers, Jackets, Protectors, Sticks, etc. (For Books, Magazines, Newspapers, Pamphlets, Photographs, etc.)

20 Book Cards, Date Slips, Pockets, Protectors, etc.

25 Book Ends, Holders, Supports, etc.

30 Book Mending, Rebinding, and Repairing Supplies (See 590-68 for Binding Tape for Sewing Purposes)

40 Book Security Systems, Equipment, and Supplies

50 Books, Accession

55 Daters, Pencil and Band Type; and Supplies

60 Library Catalog Cards and Accessories: Cards, Guides, Protectors, Sorters, Trays, etc.

65 Library Forms, All Kinds: Circulation Record, Continuous, Strip, etc.

70 Library Labeling Supplies: Labels, Letters, Signals, etc.

75 Library Machines: Card Duplicators, Card Master Machines, Charging Machines, Pasting Machines, etc.

80 Library Supplies, Miscellaneous

95 Recycled Library Books, Equipment and Supplies

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Free Mailshell anti-spam software at TechSoup Stock

Hey folks, we just got this info recently. Its an offer from for free anti-spam software for a limited time. Here are the details below:

Dear TechSoup Stock Customer,

For 24 hours only this Wednesday, December 5, eligible nonprofits and public libraries in the U.S. and Canada can request free Mailshell anti-spam software at TechSoup Stock.

This giveaway is the culmination of the 5th annual "Stop Spam Today!" campaign sponsored by TechSoup and Mailshell. Learn more and place your donation request at:

Mailshell's Anti-Spam Desktop software is licensed for one year of use. If you ordered this software in last year's campaign, December 5 is a great time to renew your licensing.


Mailshell's Anti-Spam Desktop software is available to eligible U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofits, Canadian registered charities, and U.S. and Canadian public libraries.


Donation requests can be placed at TechSoup Stock for 24 hours
only: from midnight to midnight this Wednesday, December 5.

* If your organization is already registered with TechSoup Stock, there's no need to register again; simply place your donation request on December 5 by visiting:

* If your organization is not yet registered and qualified at TechSoup Stock, we encourage you to begin the process today.
Learn how in our new Getting Started Guide:


Last year we saved over 70,000 inboxes! Please take a moment to forward this email to other nonprofits and public libraries in the U.S. and Canada and let them know about our free anti-spam software giveaway. Together, we can save even more inboxes this year.

Rebecca Masisak

Co-CEO, CompuMentor/TechSoup

Bringing Technology Donations to Nonprofits (libraries start here)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Time to Apply for The Big Read

Washington, DC-The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), announces the fourth deadline for the Big Read program. The purpose of the Big Read is to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture. Grants ranging from $5,000 th $20,000 are available to encourage local communities to inspire reading through the Big Read program. This will be the only application deadline in 2008.

The Request for Proposals can be downloaded at Big Read. The proposal deadline is February 12, 2008. Questions should be directed to Arts Midwest at 612/341-0755 or

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Finally, a service to help people find information!

This morning I happened to catch The Today Show on NBC. My librarian ears went up when I heard them talking about Five Phone Numbers That Will Change Your Life.

One number listed was: Ask a question … any question!

Auburn University’s Foy Information Line, 334-844-4244
Students at Auburn University in Alabama, armed with the Internet and, as a last resort, reference books, will answer any question you can conceive of, 24 hours a day, Monday to Thursday (during the school year). The hot line started in the 1950s as a resource for students at Auburn who were trying to locate campus services and find information about grades or course schedules. Over the years, it has evolved into a no-holds-barred information database. It is one of the nation’s longest-running services of its kind. It’s technically the “Foy Information Line,” named after the Foy Student Union building that the phone service operates from, and it is free for anyone to call. They’ve gotten questions from callers as far away as Australia, about questions ranging from how many Oreos it would take to circle the globe to what’s the longest nontechnical word in the English language? It’s perfect for when you can’t get to Google. The hot line operates 24 hours during the week and until 9 p.m. on weekends.

I do give great credit for offering this service. I think as librarians we need to see what they are offering we might not be - such as 24 hour service to anyone. Also, I do have to wonder....
ummmmmm....has anybody at the Today Show heard of the reference librarian??

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Amazon's Kindle equals demise of libraries???

"Even so, Amazon's reader is still exciting. The reading experience it creates is just as pleasant and immersive as a book. And more important, it isn't a book; it's a library. The Kindle may be among the first devices that start to shift the way people accumulate literature, transforming shelves of books into a single device that can ride around in a briefcase. "

Interesting quote from a Forbes article that was somewhat critical of the new e-book reader from Amazon. If you have not heard about this device, I encourage you to read about it. The most fascinating aspect is the ability to download e-books to the reader wirelessly no matter where you are located.

In this article, Jeff Bezos describes Kindle in detail. The article even mentions libraries.

"Bezos explains that it's only fair to charge less for e-books because you can't give them as gifts, and due to restrictive antipiracy software, you can't lend them out or resell them. (Libraries, though, have developed lending procedures for previous versions of e-books—like the tape in "Mission: Impossible," they evaporate after the loan period—and Bezos says that he's open to the idea of eventually doing that with the Kindle.)"

If the book is our brand, what happens to libraries when the physical book is no longer needed?

You never foresee a future without the book. Google and others are scanning in a million of them, or more, a year. This pace will only get better as the process becomes more developed. Think about it from the standpoint of a patron. Go to a library to get a book, or find it on your portable device. Wiser generations might think this is outrageous, but how many pretweens and teens do you know that does not own a portable device.

I hope that at the Texas Library Assocation December summit, Transforming Texas Libraries, that we look at not only the short term solutions, but what libraries are facing long term and how we can best prepare ourselves for this future.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Texas Book Festival Library Grants

Deadline: January 12, 2008
The Texas Book Festival grants are now available on the Texas Book Festival web site at Three different grants are again being offered this year: 1) The Literacy Initiative Grants will fund programs that support the public library role for community reading and learning; 2) The 21st Century Innovation - Library Technology Grants will assist with the purchase of technology-related services or products; and 3) The old favorite, the Book Funding grants which help libraries add books to their collections. Be sure to read the guidelines completely.
**Please note that the Literacy & Technology grants are limited to one application per library system. Book grants are limited to one application per branch with a limit of four per library system.**
If you have questions concerning the grants, please feel free to contact Myra Zatopek, Texas State Library, at ( or 800.252.9386) or the Texas Library Association (800.580.2852).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

North Texas Regional Library System - Shared Integrated Library System

Yesterday, we had our meeting on the shared catalog, or Shared Integrated Library System (SILS). It was a great meeting where about 35 of us discussed what questions needs to be addressed to make a shared system a reality. In the end, we had nine libraries at the meeting indicate that they would migrate to a SILS within two years if they could convince their city/county. With this in mind, we are moving forward with Phase I of the project. NTRLS’ first step was to submit a scope change to the Texas State Library (TSL) asking permission to focus some of our resources on this endeavor. I did this today and should hear back from TSL by the end of the week.

After I receive this approval, we will then develop a Request for Quotation (RFQ) to release to the public. We hope to get some firm costs for the consortium that can be used in a Cost Benefit Tool. This tool will be used to justify to cities/counties the benefits of SILS.

If you are interested in participating in Phase I of this project, you must let me know by November 30th. We plan to release the RFQ on December 1st. Once we have the firm numbers from the RFQ, it will be difficult to change them because these numbers will be used for the Cost Benefit Tool.

Here are the libraries that I know of wishing to participate in Phase I. Alvarado Public Library; Aubrey Public Library; Boyce Ditto Public Library; Bridgeport Public Library; Crowley Public Library; Decatur Public Library; Frisco Public Library; Haltom City Public Library; Hood County Public Library; Kennedale Public Library; Mansfield Public Library; and Roanoke Public Library.

I have created a page on that outlines the project. It includes a proposed timeline and the handouts from the kick-off meeting. You can find it at:

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Final Day of Conference

Yesterday was the last day of the Internet Librarian conference. It was a great trip. I met librarians from many states, Canada and even England.

The morning keynote speaker was Danny Sullivan who began but has now started His talk concentrated on the future of search and what we can expect. He showed how many predictions from 2001 have come true – more personalized searching, social sites and federated searching. He also mentioned how we have moved from an environment of browsing and discovery to search – and very specific searching at that.

Whereas federated searching focused on horizontal searching, the personalized sites focus more on vertical searching. The Google Universal Search will personalize searches through their personalized searching link and re-order sites based on bookmarks, search history, and your home page.

Mary Ellen Bates presented a program on Alternative and Customized Search Engines. She went through many sites – very quickly I might add. I didn’t get all the details down, but will share some of the sites you might want to check out. Intelways, SRCHR, Scandoo (this one really looked interesting as it gives sites ratings based on malware, phishing and offensive content in real time).

Do you ever need to find a particular sound and do not know where to look? Try Findsounds for a variety of noises you can use.

As far as customized search engines, try the Yahoo Search Builder at, or Google coop at I have not had time to try these myself but many in the audience had and recommended both sites.

Greg Notiss discussed Search Engine Strategies: Digging Deeper. Many of the sites he shared seemed to be more useful for deep research and academic environments. The three I noted were: for the National Academies Press which had many free full text books and journals; the Wayback Machine which searches archives and caches of sites from 1996 – 8/12 months ago; and

He also suggested that you look at the border areas of webpages to find richer content. In addition, look for tabs and other links to uncluster the results which will provide more varied sites. On Google, this link is listed after the last search result.

I had to fly out before the conference ended so I missed the closing keynote. I have much information to process and practice with anyway so it is probably just as well. Knowledge fatigue may be setting in!

If you get the chance next year, attend this great conference!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Day in Monterey

Today started off with a keynote from Joe Janes on Reference 2.0: Ain't What it Used to Be...And It Never Will Again. I have to say up front that Joe was very entertaining and informative. I am not sure I have ever laughed this much in a conference keynote. One of his main points was that we just cannot continue to do business the same way - year after year. Generations need to listen to one another and realize experience and fresh new ideas are all needed to move our libraries forward.

I went to a Cybertour on New Software for Quick Online Tutorials. I haven't had time to look at all of the sites that were shared - but there is definitely a use for screencasting in training design. He recommends Jing, Demofuse, and Screencast-o-Matic. The Jing Project is still in beta and has limited features. It is free but there are hosting fees. Demofuse has no software to download but it also has no audio - which in the demonstration really made a difference. Screencast-o-Matic also has free software but uses Java instead of Flash.

Meredith Farkas presented Five Weeks to a Social Library which is a project she helped design. This project was a web training over an extended time with a variety of attendees from all types of libraries. This was a great session demonstrating many options of Open Source Software and how to implement local education programs for librarians. She used Drupal, Mediawiki and This project was structured so that each week a different type of social networking was shared and participants had to complete a hands-on project. The information was very peer driven.

Helene Blowers of Learning 2.0 fame, presented Lego Building: Learning Through Play. She shared 5 tips to be an information player: 1. Take 15 minutes a day to explore something new; 2. Subscribe to 5 blogs and read them; 3. Tag play items in so you can go back to them when you have time; 4. Create a learning blog to share ideas; and 5. Play!! Take time to learn.

Helene also really recommends using to jazz up presentations with music videos using your images. It seemed really easy to use - check it out!

I talked with WebFeat and Envisionware in the exhibits area. I must admit I am not a big fan of many federated searching tools - but WebFeat seems to have created an excellent product. I used their service several years ago and found it helpful, but a little lacking. The presentation I saw today shows they have really fine-tuned their search tools.

Since I heard from a couple presenters today that fun and play are important - I wanted to be obedient and visited the Monterey Aquarium. My favorite exhibit was the sea otters - there was one that the trainer stated just did her own thing when she felt like it - they couldn't get her to follow their rules...she might be me as an otter! I finished up the long day at the Farmer's Market with local dealers - what a great day. One more day and then back to Texas. Hmmmm, I hope I can continue my dedication to fun and play!

School/Public Library Cooperation

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission seeks the input of school and public libraries in Texas in an important survey concerning cooperation between school and public libraries. If you are not the appropriate recipient for this survey at your institution, please take a moment and forward this message to that person on our behalf. Thank you for your time and assistance.
Purpose of survey:
This survey is intended to gather information related to the current state of cooperation between Texas school and public libraries. The results of this survey will be published, and they will be used to help develop a free online SBEC-accredited course on school and public library cooperation. The Texas State Library will announce the availability of the survey results and the online course.
Dates of survey:
Tuesday, October 30 - Friday, November 9, 2007
Estimated time required to complete survey:
5 -10 minutes depending on length of responses to open-ended questions
Who should complete the survey:
School and public library staff in Texas
To take the survey:
Please visit:
For questions relating to the administration of this survey, please contact:
Naomi DiTullio
Distance Learning Consultant, Library Development Division
Texas State Library & Archives Commission
800.252.9386 (in Texas)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Day Two of Internet Librarian Conference

Today was the first full day of the Internet Librarian conference. I really like that the sessions are for the most part, only 45 minutes long. I am able to pay attention that long so I attended four sessions today. The opening keynote was presented by Lee Rainie and included discussion of 2.0 and the Internet. I must say that 2.0 everything is the buzz at this conference.

I attended Cranky? Boomers and Older Adults are Greying the Internet. Check out the cRANKy search engine - the first age relevant search engine. I really like it, at least the little bit I have been able to peruse it. If you work with seniors, develop courses and pathways just for them. Other suggested sites were: and boomertown.

The Ageless Project is an interesting site that categorizes blogs and web pages by the age of the creator. Take note that there are two people listed born in the 1910's that have blogs online. Who says that our older patrons are not ready for computers!

I also attended Multimedia Search by Ran Hock. I had heard of most of the search techniques and sources for video, audio and images. However, two that he mentioned that were new to me: Exalead and Blinkx. Exalead offers multimedia refining tools that are very easy to use. Check it out as another search alternative. Blinkx has over 18 million hours of video that can be searched and downloaded.

The Cool Tools for Library Webmasters was interesting but at times over my head since I am not a webmaster. One site to check out was the site map builder from Google. And finally I attended the Integrating Libraries and Communities Online that detailed the bookspace site at Hennepin County Library. Hennepin has done an excellent job with this tool. If you haven't seen this site - check it out. It is patterned after Amazon as far as book reviews, book lists and book comments are submitted by users of the library. This really incorporates your users with your web page - this collaboration is vital in building relationships with users.

On an important side note - I also saw three Humpback whales, several sea otters and countless sea lions. If we could just move the conference outside.........

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Internet Librarian Conference

Well, sometimes it is tough being a librarian. I am in Monterey attending the Internet Librarian Conference. The main conference begins tomorrow but I attended two pre-conference sessions - Training Adults - Getting and Keeping Attention and Libraries on the MUVE in Second Life.

The most important thing to comment on is Monterey - this is my first time here and it is amazing. I pet a sea lion and made him very irritated - he barked at me and then today, I saw two sea otters playing. It is difficult to concentrate when the weather and surroundings are so beautiful.

I guess I should give details of the conference thus far. The Libraries on the MUVE (Multi User Virtual Environments) was very interesting. I have a great interest to provide training in Second Life (or another MUVE)and wasn't exactly sure how to best pursue this. After seeing Second Life Live in the session and thinking this over, I think the best way to use any MUVE is for training simulations. For instance, instead of the traditional interactive training with lecture and discussion, set up a training library and have staff demonstrate good customer service skills, team building, conflict resolution - any type of soft skill that is difficult to train in the classroom setting.

My greatest concern is that it seems to take dedication of time to learn the skills to use a MUVE efficiently - on the part of the trainer and the trainee. All four presenters have work time and staff dedicated to nothing but Second Life tasks and training. I did take time to go online after the preconference, and set up my avatar - Roxie Blinker. I don't have it completely ready to go yet, but it wasn't difficult to get started. The hard part is apparently learning to navigate sidewalks and buildings without hurting yourself!

The other session I attended was the Training Adults. This was much more basic than I expected and was really geared towards new trainers in general - not just those working with adult learners. One tool I did learn was instead of asking participants at the beginning of a workshop what they hope to learn, ask them how will they know the session was valuable to them when they leave. This different way of thinking allows the participant to define what they really are seeking from the session.

Finally, it needs to be known that Rosine's has an excellent peanut butter pie - Adam W sent me to the right place!

Check back for more details after the conference gets officially started.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Statewide Material Contracts - FAQ

Hi. I received a FAQ from the Texas State Library on their Statewide Contracts for materials. Please find it below.

Q. Where do we find the actual contract?
Q. Who should I contact with questions?
Christy Havel, State of Texas CO-OP Coordinator
Chris Jowaisas, Administrator, Library Systems and TANG
512.936.2236 or toll-free in Texas - 800.252.9386

Q. Who do libraries contact to register for a training session?
Contact to register for the FREE weekly conference call training session "CO-OP 101: How to Take Advantage of Your Membership". Additional information and materials are available here -

Q. Where do we find all those forms?
CO-OP Forms Library -

Q. What about that "blanket PO" that was discussed at the meeting?
Non-Automated PO form and Instructions (MS Word) - *Libraries can always use their own PO - just submit a copy of that to the CPA with the required information.

Q. Where do I look to see if a library is already a member of the CO-OP program?
Alphabetical List of State of Texas CO-OP Members - - look under your city or county most likely.

New Book Suggestion

Securing Library Technology: A How-To-Do-It Manual
By Paul W. Earp and Adam Wright
978-1-55570-639-5 . 2008 . 8.5 x 11 . 215 pp.

I haven't seen this yet but since my boss co-wrote it - it must be really good ; )

A must-have preparedness handbook for every library and information center, this nontechnical guide offers you comprehensive strategy for protecting your library’s technology assets against the growing array of threats — from viruses and worms to hackers, system failures, and natural disasters. Here is a step-bystep, easy-to-implement guide for securing servers, systems, and networks against both internal and external threats. Beginning with the fundamentals, the authors will guide you through the steps necessary to build a comprehensive security plan. You will learn how to take a detailed inventory of your library’s many technology platforms and identify the threats specific to each. Next is a detailed how-to for performing a thorough needs assessment leading to clear and detailed written policies, and finally, an appropriate recovery action plan. The authors explain the relevant technologies, security measures, and available software and hardware tools in simple terms, allowing you to see the big picture and create an effective security plan without getting bogged down in the technical details that are the province of the IT department. A carefully chosen collection of model plans and a glossary of technical terms round out this invaluable guide.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

• Positive Uses of Social Networking in Libraries

• Positive Uses of Social Networking in Libraries
Young adult librarians respond to the challenge of YALSA's "30 days of positive uses of social networking project. Every day throughout October three YALSA bloggers posted ideas and information about using social networking in the school and public library."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Library Use Value Calculator

What is your library worth to you?
How much would you pay out-of-pocket for your library services?
This Library Use Value Calculator is a great tool to "sell" your library's value to the public.

Accessibility Rules Can Be Enforced for Websites

A recent court ruling confirms that ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) rules can be enforced for websites as well as for physical buildings, according to an article at

A group of visually-impaired consumers has brought a class action lawsuit against because its e-commerce web site is not sufficiently accessible to visually-impaired shoppers. Target's lawyers have been contending, in part, that the ADA rules designed for brick-and-mortar stores do not apply to websites. A court ruled on October 2 that the litigation can go to trial, confirming that the accessibility rules can be enforced for websites.

The tools that visually-impaired users rely on for reading web pages rely on standard HTML practices, such as text equivalents for images. Animations and other special effects can make web pages inaccessible to these tools.

The eWeek article can be found at,1895,2191625,00.asp?kc=PBWBPEMNL101607EOAD

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

State Tang Survey is here...

Hi folks if you are using any part of the Tang program would you please take the time to fill out the states survey? Here is the info listed below:

It's here -

The survey to capture the data for TANG outcomes for FY2007 has arrived and will be live through November 9th, 2007.

Please forward to your libraries for their participation.

We have tried to keep the survey very short, although we did add three questions this year. Even with those additional questions, we expect that most libraries will be able to complete the survey in under 30 minutes.

The survey officially launches tomorrow, but it is open now. The changes to the survey from the preview sent out earlier were minor tweaks to the wording of a couple questions, one additional open-ended question to capture specific projects or improvements, and the addition of a more extensive explanation of the what/why/where/how of the survey. We also used a new design template that is hopefully easier to read than the original design template we used in the preview.

If you or your libraries have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Once the results come in, I will make sure that you have access to the results. I look forward to reading about all the great things that the libraries have done with the assistance of the TANG program and the dedicated TANG staff.

Thanks - Chris

Monday, October 15, 2007

WebJunction Partners with Assn. for Rural & Small Libraries

The Association for Rural & Small Libraries is now partnering with WebJunction and is moving resources to its new home here at This means you can now find articles from the Rural Libraries Journal, back issues of the Rural Library Services Newsletter, ARSL Organization and Conference Information on WebJunction. ARSL members can now join the vibrant discussions surrounding rural issues and can provide suggestions and comments on the future of their organization. For more information see

Reaching Spanish Speaking Populations in Your Community

I just returned from a training seminar in Seattle on Reaching Your Spanish Speaking Populations. This information was very useful and I will be presenting the trainings in the NTRLS area this winter and spring - be watching the NTRLS CE page for dates and locations.

Until then, I want to share some practical ideas.

Market your library VERBALLY! Is there a Spanish radio or tv station that serves your community?

Keep it simple - you do not have to tell everything your library provides. Often new immigrants do not understand what is available at a public library - it is a new concept to them. Tie your information resouces with their information needs, ie. Do you need a driver's license? Come to the library and borrow tapes on learning English.

Purchase a variety of materials in Spanish and English. Would you visit a library if they only had 50 English language books? Often we have a very small number of Spanish language or bilingual books - and then wonder why no one comes in to use them. Spanish speakers and readers want what English speaking and reading users want - just in Spanish.

Go to the community - do not wait for them to come to you. It takes time to build trust so don't get frustrated. Contact the churches and schools to find community leaders in the Spanish speaking community and start introducing yourself and your library.

See you this winter and spring for more training!

Friday, October 12, 2007

For those of you wanting to know about filtering software

I have found out that Content Watch purchased Net Nanny, and they offer packages simular to the volume licensing offered from other vendors with a console type interface for filtering multiple workstations. They do P.O.'s and offer academic pricing. Heres the info below:

Questions? Call Us At 866-765-7233

Representatives are available to answer your questions from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM MST
( 3 Seat Minimum )

Blocks Pornography and Protects Your Business ContentProtect can block not only pornography, but hate sites, questionable chat rooms and other dangers of the Internet. You can even configure ContentProtect to block online game and gambling sites.

Integration With Popular Search Engines

The new ContentProtect integrates seamlessly with "Safe Search" options found in popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Dogpile, AltaVista, Lycos, AllTheWeb, and MSN. This means your employees can't search on a search engine and see links to unsafe sites. This new feature enables better protection against pornographic images when doing an "image only" search. If an employee attempts to turn off the safe search capability from the search engine, ContentProtect will turn it back on in real-time as the search is occurring. The only way to bypass the safe search is with your unique administrator password, which only you as the manager or employer knows. Believe it or not, ContentProtect actually blocks content in multiple languages to provide even more enhanced protection for your business.

More than Just Web Protection

ContentProtect provides full protection on not just the World Wide Web, but also less known but equally dangerous parts of the Internet like the Usenet, Peer-to-Peer downloading networks, Chat Rooms, Instant Messages, FTP, Forums and email. Don't worry. ContentProtect knows about them, and protects your employees from the offensive content on them as well.
Enhanced Reporting

Already recognized as best in class, ContentProtect reports provide employers and managers with a first class presentation of Internet activity of their employees. You will know what sites your employees have visited, and what sites they have attempted to visit. You will also be able to see full text of their actual Instant Messages. ContentProtect empowers management to monitor and or block employees' access to certain areas of the Internet.
Remote Management

ContentProtect has enhanced its administration tools. Powerful Remote Management tools exist to help employers manage and maintain Internet policies remotely if an Internet connection exists. Monitor web browsing and instant messaging from anywhere!

Internet Slow...Here's How Way Public Library Fixed Their Problems

Jody Stroh, Systems Administrator, Way Public Library, OH is using a product at their library to help manage their bandwidth:

Do you ever run into issues when public Internet access PCs eat up all your bandwidth? Most libraries do. Take a look below at how Way Public Library used Cymphonix to overcome their bandwidth challenges:
“Our library staff was experiencing problems with our ILS (Integrated Library System.) It requires a constant connection to the database, and since we’re in a consortium, that database lives in another city. There were times, especially in the afternoon, when all of the public internet computers were busy, and the staff would get disconnected from the circulation system. Patrons had to stand and wait while staff members logged off and back on so that we could check out their items.
Enter Cymphonix. Our new Network Composer has made it possible for us to shape our bandwidth and prioritize our most important applications, giving our ILS what it needs to keep our staff up and running. Thanks, Cymphonix, for the user friendly interface and the great reporting features. The device was easy to install, and the graphic user interface makes it easy to administer. And Cymphonix has made it possible for us to delay the purchase of more bandwidth.”

to find out more about this product, here is the contact info:

James Cook

Monday, October 08, 2007

TMLDA Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Awards

The Texas Municipal Library Directors Association (TMLDA), an affiliate of Texas Municipal League, sponsors The Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Award annually. All TMLDA members and the Libraries each represents may apply each year. Entries must be completed and submitted between December 1st and December 31st and should cover the most recently completed fiscal year (typically ending September 30th). Award recipients will be formally recognized at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in Dallas, during the TMLDA business meeting, and at next year's TML Annual Conference, during the TMLDA business meeting/awards ceremony.
For additional information and for answers to frequently asked questions about the award, visit the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association website at

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Use of Wikipedia by Librarians

Wikipedia. Love it or hate it? We want to know how librarians are using Wikipedia. Please help us find out.
The Use of Wikipedia by Librarians survey is a research study investigating how librarians are using Wikipedia in their daily work. Please take 10-15 minutes to participate in the Use of Wikipedia by Librarians survey at this url:!wikipedia
Thank you,Jean Ferguson, Reference Librarian 919.660.5928Aisha Harvey, Collection Development/Reference Librarian 919.660.7892Duke University Libraries

Public Library and Internet Survey from ALA, Gates, and FSU - Update on completion

In response to a question about where libraries could check to see whether they had completed the Public Libraries & Internet Survey, Christopher Jowaisas at TSLAC has provided this reply.

"With so many surveys flying around, it is hard to keep track of which survey a library has completed," he says, "but there is a handy site for this for the PL & Internet survey where you can see the sample for Texas and who has completed the survey:

"Right now, we have had ten libraries of the 185 in the sample complete the survey. It will run through November 15th, although I have also seen November 25th as a deadline. We will continue to send reminders until the deadline and please try to make your libraries aware of the survey also. "

Teen Ideas for Your Library

Library forum gives teens chance to be heard
Contra Costa Times

HAVING SOMETHING TO SAY and having a place to say it are two different things, especially for teenagers. But now there will be an open forum for teens in Castro Valley to be seen and heard at Open Mike Night every first Monday of the month at the Castro Valley Library.

Open Mike is not to be confused with a poetry slam (unless you feel like slamming some poetry around) and is a reality thanks to the efforts of Castro Valley High School senior Ryden Ishida, who thinks teens should have a place to speak their mind about any topic without restrictions.

He was inspired after attending a leadership program in Washington, D.C.

Although Ryden tried to get the open mike series off the ground last year it wasn't until this year that he and library assistant Nathan Silva hammered out the details.

"Nathan was very excited about he idea, and it all just came together," says Ryden, who adds that his mother, Barbara Telford-Ishida, is a librarian in Newark, where an open mike program has been in place for a while.

The first open mike was Monday evening and Ryden performed emcee duties as well as speaking. He chose a topic from a recent English class, "Who Are You?" As future open mikes take place he is hoping to see a full house of speakers and topics.

Not only are high school teens invited to express themselves creatively, but they are invited to share their own artistic creations, comedy, and musical compositions, poetic and other written works with their

Teens are also serving on library advisory boards more and more.

One Teen Among Adults on the Library Board by Alyssa Ratledge in the October 2007 VOYA details her two terms on the board. What a great idea.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Lost in Translation

What happens when an English phrase is translated (by computer) back and forth between 5 different languages? The authors of the Systran translation software probably never intended this application of their program. As of September 2007, translation software is almost good enough to turn grammatically correct, slang-free text from one language into grammatically incorrect, barely readable approximations in another. But the software is not equipped for 10 consecutive translations of the same piece of text. The resulting half-English, half-foreign, and totally non sequitur response bears almost no resemblance to the original. Remember the old game of "Telephone"? Something is lost, and sometimes something is gained. Try it for yourself!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Proposed Rule Changes for Public Library Accreditation

I received the following email from the Texas State Library.

Coordinators, system staff, members:
I apologize for the delay in sending this announcement. At the August Commission meeting we proposed some edits, updates, and a few changes to some public library accreditation rules. These were published in the August 24 issue of the Texas Register. Anyone who has comments on the proposed changes should send them to me in the next week by email or mail.
Go to - in the box on the right side click on the link for previous issues HTML - go to the August 24 issue (direct link ) - scroll down to the heading "Texas State Library and Archives Commission" - there is just one link
Please let me know if you have questions. Thanks
Deborah Littrell
Director, Library Development division
Texas State Library and Archives Commission PO Box 12927 Austin, TX 78711-2927
512-463-8800 fax

Monday, September 17, 2007

System Coordinator Meeting - September 13th

I attended a Coordinator’s meeting on Thursday, September 13th. Here are the highlights.

· Transforming Texas Libraries. The Texas State Library (TSL) and the Texas Library Association will be holding a series of meetings on what strategic directions Texas libraries should take in the next decade. It is called Transforming Texas Libraries. Steve Brown, the current President of TLA and Director of the North Richland Hills Public Library, thought of the idea and will be speaking about it at our October System meeting.
· Texas Education Agency (TEA) Study. TSL and TEA will be conducting a study of school libraries in the next year to determine what each agency should provide to this type of library. The report is due by December 2008.
· Long Range Plan Guidelines. We have the first draft of the guidelines. The guidelines state “TSLAC believes that the principal purposes of the systems are to bring libraries, regardless of type, together to share information and expertise, to engage in collaborative projects to strengthen library services for all Texans, and to provide continuing education and consulting services to the libraries in each region.” TSL preliminary budget for Systems in 2010 and 2011 is $4.3 million which is $300,000 less than the FY09 budget. With this amount of funding, NTRLS would receive $489,616 in 2010 and 2011. Our budget this year is $626,000 and our FY09 budget will be around $550,000. TSL stressed that the 2010 and 2011 figures were very preliminary with several factors still to be determined.
· TSL Competitive Grants. Competitive grants up to $75,000(very preliminary figure) will be available for Systems in FY09. The grants are due in March 2008. NTRLS staff will be working on developing a project that reaches multi-type libraries as this seems to be one of the primary focuses of the grants.
· Statewide Contracts for Materials. Contracts will be in place next week. The discounts are very similar to what NTRLS provides to its libraries through its material contracts. There is a fair degree of more paperwork involved to participate in the statewide contracts. The grant contracts should be available on the web sometime this week.
· Statistics. TSL has changed the way they want Systems to report their statistics. They are requiring more granular breakdown of the statistics on a quarterly basis. Reports on CE statistics are now available.

Friday, September 14, 2007

ALA releases report on technology access

Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2006-2007 Report

This is a long post - and the report is fairly lengthy - but it is worth your time to read it. Here is a highlight:

Libraries as Community Access Computing and Internet Access Points

Public libraries continue to provide important public access computing and Internet access in their communities:
• 99.7 percent of public library branches are connected to the Internet;
• 99.1 percent of public library branches offer public Internet access;
• 54.2 percent of public library branches offer wireless Internet access, up from 36.7 percent in 2006;
• 100 percent of urban library branches are connected to the Internet; and
• Public library branches have an average of 10.7 public access workstations, with rural libraries having an average of 7.1 workstations and high poverty libraries having 25.4 workstations.
Together these findings demonstrate the extent to which public libraries serve their communities through Internet connectivity.

The Addition, Upgrade, and Replacement Challenge
The survey data indicate that the average number of public access workstations is 10.7, a figure that has not changed significantly since the 2002 Public Libraries and the Internet study (the average number in 2002 was 10.8; the average number in 2004 was 10.4; the average number in 2006 was 10.7). Moreover, libraries are by and large not adding workstations (58 percent of libraries have no plans to add workstations in the coming year, and another 29 percent are “considering” adding but don’t know how many). Nor are libraries upgrading existing workstations; rather, they are essentially pursuing a workstation replacement strategy (nearly 50 percent).

Combined with the survey data on wireless Internet access in which respondents indicated that 51.9 percent of libraries are providing wireless access to expand service rather than adding workstations , it is clear that public libraries are neither adding nor upgrading workstations. Instead, they are replacing what workstations they have to the extent possible and
expanding public access by allowing patrons to bring in their own technology.

Reasons that respondents cited for the inability to add workstations include space (76.1 percent), cost (72.6 percent), and infrastructure (e.g., cabling, electrical outlets; 31.2 percent).

Reasons cited for the inability to replace public access workstations include cost (84.1 percent), maintenance (maintenance (37.8 percent), and staff (28.1 percent) (see Figure 14). Thus the challenges faced by libraries in enhancing their public access workstation infrastructure include a range of cost, building, and personnel issues.

Quality of Public Access
A key issue woven through the survey’s findings is that, while public libraries provide a substantial amount of public access Internet and computing service, the overall physical infrastructure they are able to provide may be lacking in quality. Take the below data points as
• Bandwidth has essentially remained unchanged since the 2006 survey. For example, 62.1 percent of public libraries report connection speeds of greater than 769kbps, as compared to 63.3 percent in 2006.
• Overall, 16.6 percent of respondents reported that their connection is the maximum speed that they can acquire, 18.1 percent cannot afford to increase their bandwidth, and 19.3 percent indicated that they could increase their bandwidth but had no plans to do so.

Thus, over 50 percent of libraries indicate that they will not be increasing their bandwidth for a range of reasons – affordability, ability, or availability.
• At the same time, roughly 52 percent of respondents reported that their connectivity speed is insufficient some or all of the time . This is up about 6 percent from 2006.
• Nearly 80 percent of respondents report that they have insufficient workstations some (58.8 percent) or all (18.7 percent) of the time. These figures are fairly consistent with the 2006 survey findings, in which 13.7 percent of respondents reported insufficient workstations all of the time and 71.7 percent of respondents reported insufficient workstations some of the time.
• Just below 50 percent of public libraries report that their wireless connections share the same bandwidth as their public access workstations.

So how does your library compare??

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Museums, Libraries, and Archives Urged to Apply for Free IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf

The following is press release from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). An HTML version of this release can be read on the agency's Web site at

September 5, 2007
Press Contacts
Jeannine Mjoseth,
Mamie Bittner,

Museums, Libraries, and Archives Urged to Apply for Free IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf

Washington, DC-To help raise the conservation IQ of museums, libraries, and archives, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), in cooperation with the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH), is offering 2000 free copies of the Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of books, DVDs, online resources, and an annotated bibliography that are essential for the care of collections. A simple electronic application for the IMLS Bookshelf is available at
"The IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf is a set of 'power tools'
that will provide immediate answers to conservation issues faced by museums, libraries, and archives," said IMLS Director Anne-Imelda Radice, Ph.D. "We also hope that the IMLS Bookshelf will spark interest among individuals who will study it and become their institutions' go-to people for conservation matters."
The IMLS Bookshelf focuses on collections typically found in art or history museums and in libraries' special collections, with an added selection of texts for zoos, aquaria, public gardens, and nature centers. It will address such topics as the philosophy and ethics of collecting, collections management and planning, emergency preparedness, and culturally specific conservation issues. Recipients of the Bookshelf will also receive a user's guide, including an annotated bibliography. A guide to online resources on collections care is also being prepared by Heritage Preservation (HP), a national non-profit organization working to preserve America's collective heritage. Both documents will be available online.
Two panels of experts,* convened by HP, made recommendations to IMLS on the contents of the bookshelf. Among the publications selected were The National Trust Manual of Housekeeping (published by the British National Trust in 2005), the Field Guide to Emergency Response (published by Heritage Preservation in 2006), and Essentials of Conservation Biology (published by Primack in 2006).
The IMLS Bookshelf will be awarded free in two application periods:
September 1 - November 15, 2007, with recipients announced in February 2008; and March 1 - April 15, 2008, with recipients announced in July 2008. Instructions, qualifications, and the content of the IMLS Bookshelf, along with the online application, can be found at
Priority will be given to smaller institutions, but large museums and libraries with special collections are also eligible to apply. Federally operated institutions, for-profit institutions, and libraries that do not hold special collections are not eligible to receive the Bookshelf.
For more information on the IMLS Bookshelf, email Terry Jackson at, or call 615-320-3203.
*Expert advisors for the non-living collection texts included: Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa, director of the William and Margaret Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record, University of Texas, Austin; Jeanne Drewes, chief of Binding and Collections Care of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Cathy Hawks, private conservator specializing in object conservation; Melissa Heaver, registrar at the Fire Museum of Maryland, Lutherville, MD; Wendy Jessup, private conservator specializing in preventive conservation; and Debra Hess Norris, Henry Francis du Pont Chair in Fine Arts and Chairperson of the Department of Art Conservation at Winterthur/University of Delaware, Winterthur, DE.
*Expert advisors for the living collections texts included Sylvan Kaufman, conservation curator of the Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely, MD; Bill Langbauer, director of Science and Conservation, Pittsburgh Zoo; Brandie Smith, interim director of conservation and science, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Silver Spring, MD; and Dan Stark, executive director, American Public Gardens Association, Wilmington, DE.
The IMLS Bookshelf has received support from the Getty Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation and is part of Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action, a three-year initiative to help improve the care of our nation's collections. IMLS began the initiative in response to A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America's Collections, a 2005 Heritage Preservation study supported by IMLS, which documented the dire state of the nation's collections. See for more information.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.
The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit
The American Association for State and Local History is a non-profit membership organization comprising individuals, agencies, and organizations acting in the public trust, engaged in the practice of history, and representing a variety of disciplines and professions. It provides leadership and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful to all Americans. To learn more, visit
The Getty Foundation provides support to institutions and individuals throughout the world, funding a diverse range of projects that promote the understanding and conservation of the visual arts. The Foundation is part of the J. Paul Getty Trust which also includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, and the Getty Conservation Institute. To learn more, visit
The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by the late Henry R.
Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc. With assets of approximately $750 million, the Luce Foundation supports American art, higher education, Asian affairs, theology, and women in science and engineering. To learn more, visit

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Librarian Live - Podcasts by librarians for librarians

Hi. For the last six months, the North Texas Regional Library System(NTRLS) has been producing a podcast called Librarian Live. We had produced four on our own in a pilot project. I am happy to report that we received nothing but encouraging feedback concerning the episodes. With this in mind, NTRLS decided to move it out of the pilot project stage by seeking partners. During the summer, we signed up three: Central Texas Library System, Alamo Area Library System and the New Mexico State Library. We created a project website and determined a schedule. I am very proud to announce that the fifth episode of Librarian Live is now available online through It is about our recent Children and Youth Conference for Librarians 2007. Carolyn Davidson interviewed two attendees from the conference. Fantastic stuff! You can also subscribe to the feed. We are very excited by the opportunities this project will provide to our member libraries and the library community as a whole. Please let me know of any feedback. Thank you.

Top Ten Excuses for Not Asking

As we all start looking for additional funding, don't forget your local supporters. As the excuses begin, here is a different way to think through them

After the committees have been put together and the first fundraising meeting begins, that's when they start. You may recognize them as “yes, but . . .,” or that old stand-by “let's not get too hasty” – “The Excuses” are a sure sign that your campaign leaders are nervous about getting started. From the sublime to the ridiculous, there is no shortage of creativity when “The Excuses” get started.

Here are some of our all-time greatest hits:
1. They gave a big gift to our last campaign. We know they will give again.
2. They told us they wouldn't give to us again.
3. They just remodeled their house.
4. They have two kids in college.
5. They are going to / just got back from (insert expensive vacation spot here).
6. Their business isn't doing so well.
7. They don't have much money.
8. They are strange/odd/difficult to deal with.
9. They're just not ready! Let's do more cultivation.
10. They just gave to __________'s campaign.

Read the complete article in the September 2007 edition of Texas Non Profits.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Userful regarding a bulk discount for libraries in Texas

HI folks Jerry over at Northeast Texas Library System has some very important news to share with us. If you wish to find out more, feel free to contact him and here is the info:

Hello everyone,

I've been talking with Daniel Griffin, VP at Userful regarding a bulk discount for libraries in Texas. Initially, they were just offering a discount to systems individually, but I asked if they could apply the discount to all the systems and/or libraries in Texas and he has agreed to that. So as libraries order, regardless of what system they are from, the discount will apply as a single bulk purchase reaping a better discount.

The discount applies to all purchases within a 6 month period, so timing is an issue. We would need to coordinate those purchases. So, if you have libraries that are interested in replacing their public computers using available Gates or other funds, let's collaborate. We could end up leveraging a pretty fair discount for them.

By the way, Userful has also addressed an issue that I felt may have been one reason some libraries were holding back on a purchase. They now offer their single Discover station as a complete package, not just the software. Anyone afraid of losing 6 workstations in a pod arrangement during a catastrophic event, can just plan to order multiple single workstations.

We have 3 libraries that are happily using Discover Stations now: Muenster, Kilgore and Van Alstyne in case anybody wants to contact them.

I'm planning to announce this bulk discount at our next membership meeting on October 2, so let me know if you have libraries that are considering this product for the public PC's. This product can help a library go a long way toward sustainability.

Jerry McCulleyAssistant Coordinator/Technology ConsultantNortheast Texas Library System625 AustinGarland, TX

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Local Children Bookstore Closing

Hi. I received the following from Martha Chambers, director of the Watauga Public Library.

The attachment includes a recent Fort Worth Star Telegram article(August 12th, Northeast edition) on the closing of Brystone's Children's Books, in Watauga. Owner Marianne Harper is retiring, and the store is scheduled to close on August 31 (altho there's a possibility it will remain open through Labor Day). Everything in the store (books, educational toys, furniture, etc., is 50-60% off) so if you have some year end collection funds you want to spend, I highly recommend this store. The reason I'm recommending it is because it is the best children's bookstore I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of them. The selection of materials is incredible, and so is the service, so it's no wonder this store has received such high ratings among independent book stores. It's on Watauga Road (which those in this area know becomes Mid-Cities Blvd when you cross Rufe Snow heading east, or becomes Western Center Blvd when you cross 377/Denton Highway heading west), close to the famous Chef Pointe Café. So if you can, may want to check this out, soon. You won't be sorry. Best regards, Martha

Social Networking site for the younger kids.

Imbee is the first free social network designed for tweens! It is designed for kids ages 8 - 14. CEO Jeanette Symons stated in the August 2007 edition of School Library Journal that " was developed to enable our members to define their own user experience, and focus more on their own content creation instead of just corporate content consumption."

Imbee is tweens personal spot on the internet. It's full of fun things to do like:
Create a blog
Upload pictures
Make trading cards
Create and join groups

Imbee is a parent approved, teacher endorsed social networking site appropriate for kids and 'tweens.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

FY 2008 TexShare Database Program Participation Fees

To all TexShare Member Libraries,

The FY 2008 TexShare Database Program participation fees for your
individual institutions are posted on our web site at:

Amigos Library Services is sending out the invoices and collecting the
payments on our behalf. The invoices are going out this week. As in
the past, all fees will be due October 31, 2007 (the deadline will be
extended for those public libraries that are using FY08 Loan Star
Libraries grant funds to pay the fee).

If you have any questions about the invoice, please contact Rowena Ho at
Amigos Library Services at or call 1-800-843-8482.
If you need more information about the TexShare Database Program, please
contact me at the e-mail address below.

Ann Mason
TexShare Coordinator
Library Resource Sharing Division
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
512-463-0188 512-936-2306 (fax)

J. Frank Dobie Library Trust Awards for 2008

Application guidelines for the J. Frank Dobie Library Trust Awards for 2008 are much the same as in past years. Please remember that all applications are to be mailed in triplicate. Single copies or faxed applications will not be considered.

J. Frank Dobie Library Trust Awards are monetary awards given each spring to library applicants selected by the Award Committee.
Application Eligibility Application is open to public libraries in Texas which (1) serve a population of 20,000 or less, (2) are legally established*, and (3) are open for service at least 20 hours a week.
Number and Amount of Awards The number and amount of awards depend on net income produced by the Trust. In 2007 four libraries received an award of $10,000.
Expenditures of Awards According to the terms of the Trust, funds awarded may be used solely for the purchase of books. Note: books which have been reformatted for ease of use, i.e., books on audio tape or CD-Rom are eligible.
Award Criteria In establishing the Trust, Mr. Dobie instructed the Award Committee to take into consideration the degree of support that applicants receive from their communities. Therefore, awards are made not only on the basis of need, but also on the extent to which community governments,
library boards, friend’s organizations, and individuals have promoted and supported the library, in comparison with their potential to do so. Applications should include, but need not be limited to, the following information to help the Committee determine the support of the library by the community, the support of the community by the library, and the library’s need of additional book resources.
* A brief history of the library and description of its service area.
* The library’s itemized budget for the current year and itemized expenditures for the two preceding years.
* The amount of library income for the current year and two preceding years by source. As applicable, itemized income derived from city government, county government, school district, state government, and federal government, and income derived from the private sector (gifts, fund raising events, etc.)
* The number of full-time and part-time salaried staff by job title and the number of volunteer hours.
* Hours of service.
* The growth of the book collection over the past three years, by volumes and titles. Note: Please express in terms of net additions per year as opposed to cumulative figures.
* Circulation statistics for the past three years, in whatever detail they have been kept.
* Any support other than tax funds (which are reported as income) provided by city, county, or school district, such as library quarters.
* Any engagement in library cooperation, such as cooperation of the public and school libraries.
* An account of local efforts in support of the library, extending over one or more years. Statistics provide some evidence of continuing local support of the library, but limited insight to the persistency and intensity of effort that went into their making. Tell how local government, businesses, and citizen groups have contributed to the betterment of the library. Tell of efforts the library staff, board, and friends have made toward the promotion and improvement of library service.
* The kinds of books the library proposes to buy and the reasons for such purchases. There are no restrictions on the kinds of books that may be bought; however, regardless of type, books purchased should be of good quality and lasting value.
* The name and qualifications of the library staff member who would be responsible for book selection, or the name and qualifications of a consultant outside the library who would be willing to advise the library in its book purchases.
Submittal of Application Applications must be mailed (no faxes) in TRIPLICATE to: James B. Stewart, Chairman, J. Frank Dobie Library Trust, Victoria Public Library, 302 N. Main, Victoria, Texas 77901-6592. James B. Stewart can be contacted by email at
Please include a cover sheet with the following information:
Contact person
Name of Library
Address and telephone number
Email Address
Applications for the 2008 awards must be received by DECEMBER 14, 2007.
At Mr. Dobie’s request, announcement of the awards will be made at the annual meeting of the Texas
Library Association, which in 2008 will be held April 15-18 in Dallas.
*A legally established public library is one established as a department of a city or county government
by charter, resolution, or ordinance: or by contract as provided for in the Interlocal Cooperation Act,
Texas Civil Statutes, Article 4413 (32c): or as a nonprofit corporation chartered by the Office of the
Secretary of State for the purposes of providing free public library services, and having a current
contract with a city, county, or school district to provide free public library services for the city,
county, or school district.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Seizure of Iraqi National Library

On August 10 the Iraq National Library and Archives was seized at gunpoint and occupied by Iraqi security forces. There are fears that the building will be the subject of looting, vandalism, and attack by opposing forces.

After the collapse of Saddam’s regime, the library lost many rare books and ancient artifacts to looters and arsonists. The librarian and his staff have rebuilt the library since then, but the collection is now at risk again.

The library director’s diary has been posted by the British Library, and makes fascinating reading.,,2145707,00.html – An article in The Guardian about the seizure of the library. - The diary of Saad Eskander, Director of the INLA

Monday, August 20, 2007

Small Library Management Workshops IV: Reference Services

The 4th in the series of 5 Small Library Management training Program workshops is ready for registration!
SLM IV: Reference Services will be held in seven locations around the state from October to December of 2007. The program is open to employees of small community libraries serving less than 25,000 people who do not have a Master's degrees in Library and Information Science. There is a limit of two staff members per library in locations where seating is limited. Non-MLIS staff from other types of small libraries may attend. However, the focus is on small, public libraries. Those registered and not working in a small, public library setting could be asked not to attend if space becomes an issue.
Day 1 of the workshop will cover the changing face of reference in small community libraries. Day 2 will be hands-on using the TexShare databases to answer reference questions.
After attending this workshop, participants will:
understand the shift from traditional reference service to online resources in the context of the small library be comfortable conducting an effective reference interview both in person and online have increased knowledge of reader's advisory resources understand the adult and children's content within the TexShare databases be more familiar with choosing an appropriate database to answer patron questions
Texas State Library & Archives Commission staff will be presenting this two-day workshop. I will be presenting Day 1 of the workshop on the reference and reader's advisory basics and my colleague, Tine Walczyk, Manager of Continuing Education & Consulting, will be presenting the TexShare Databases on Day 2. Day 2 will be hands-on work.
Dates and locations:
New Braunfels - October 11 & 12, 2007
The Woodlands - October 15 & 16, 2007
Lubbock - October 18 & 19, 2007
Corpus Christi - October 25 & 26, 2007
Abilene - November 8 & 9, 2007
Fort Stockton - November 15 & 16, 2007
Canton & Terrell - December 6 & 7, 2007
For additional information or to register, please visit:
Dawn Vogler
Library Management Consultant
Texas State Library & Archives Commission PO Box 12927 Austin, TX 78711-2927
(512) 936-4449 phone
(512) 463-8800 fax

Dawn Vogler
Library Management Consultant
Texas State Library & Archives Commission PO Box 12927 Austin, TX 78711-2927
(512) 936-4449 phone
(512) 463-8800 fax

Free DVD Offer

Posted by request:
Hello Texas Librarians:
We would like to make you aware that Sweet Tornado: Margo Jones and the American Theater, the documentary that was aired nationwide on public television is available for free for your library as a DVD.
Since Ms. Jones was a native Texan and a pivotal figure in American theater, we are eager to make sure her memory lives on. Please contact Lisa Taylor at <> with your name, your library address and phone number to receive the DVD. Basic information follows.
Jones' story, after successfully airing on public television stations nationwide last spring, is now available as the DVD SWEET TORNADO: MARGO JONES AND THE AMERICAN THEATER, starring Judith Ivey as the dynamic and idealistic director from Texas, and Richard Thomas as Tennessee Williams, whose early career she championed. Marcia Gay Harden narrates the one-hour documentary, produced in high-definition format.
The documentary has been praised as smartly crafted, bold, moving by The Dallas Morning News and by Leonard Maltin as a heartfelt tribute to a woman with great dreams and equally great demons in her life.
In addition to the documentary, the SWEET TORNADO DVD includes features and footage of particular interest to theater lovers, theater educators and libraries. Among them: an incisive interview with noted Tennessee Williams authority Albert R. Devlin and a discussion - with contributions from Arena Stage founder Zelda Fichandler and director Adrian Hall - about how and why the professional nonprofit theater took root half a century ago.
The DVD also includes material about the classic drama Inherit the Wind - which Jones premiered - and assessments of her life and career from playwright Horton Foote, actor Ray Walston, and others. Judith Ivey offers her account of how she found the role for this unusual amalgam of live performance and documentary biography. Other extras include behind-the-scenes footage from shooting of the performance portion of the documentary.
Lisa Taylor
Taylor-Made Press
Dedicated to promoting culture
Cell 214-914-1099
923 Salmon Dr.
Dallas, TX 75208

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bookswim: Renting out Books the Netflix Way

This last week, I had an interesting conversation with Shamoon Siddiqui and George Burke, cofounders of Bookswim. Bookswim is a company that rents out books with the Netflix business model. Customers can get up to three books at a time for a monthly fee. The books are sent directly to the customer’s residence. There are no late fees and no postage for the customer.

I had emailed Shamoon at the request of one of my library directors, Tina Hager from the Little Elm Public Library. She had read an article about how the two were buying books from Library book sales to boost their inventory numbers. (According to the Bookswim website, their inventory currently stands at 150,000 and growing.) Tina wanted to know if NTRLS could work with Bookswim to create a partnership with NTRLS member libraries. Specifically, she wanted to know if NTRLS could arrange for Bookswim to buy book sale books from member libraries.

I am happy to report that Shamoon and George were open to the ideas of purchasing books from NTRLS libraries. They have two ways of purchasing the books. First, they will sometimes need a specific title and will pay the usual book sale amount for it. Secondly, they buy leftover books from book sales at a much reduced price (example: $2 a box). We did not discuss postage cost so I need to get back to them on this, but it sounds like a good fundraising opportunity for NTRLS libraries. I will post more as the details are worked out.

Of course, Shamoon and George took an opportunity to inform me that they have a service called Bookswim for Libraries. Here is what is on their website.

Library Partnership
We're supplementing a library network's books by allowing each library to have a special type of bookswim monthly membership that would work as follows: if a patron requests a book, the librarian can in turn request it (and others) using their bookswim membership. The books would be shipped directly to the library and then can be distributed to the patrons who had asked for them. The books are treated as your own inventory would be; you can choose a return date and impose late fines if you wish. BookSwim will be removed from this entire process. When the titles are returned, the library can package up the books and ship back to BookSwim. We can get books to your library as fast as interlibrary loan.We will always be sure to have the latest titles and popular titles, which make BookSwim a gem to use for patrons who do not wish to remain on a waiting list. All books can be delivered within a few days, as fast as some ILL orders.
The library will likely pay a monthly or yearly fee for this service and will be allowed X number of books out at a time each month or year. We don't have late fees so the library can keep titles for as long as needed. Additional advantages include speed of delivery and consolidation of shipping.This is a new program and rates can be negotiated based on your library's readership and budgetary needs.
Contact BookSwim here and be sure to include intended usage amount and budget.

Shamoon and George also write on their website, “We know that libraries have limited shelf space and must be sure that the books they carry are going to get borrowed, so rare or older titles may not be included in their collections. In addition, everyone knows how difficult it can be to borrow a bestseller or new release from the library based on limited availability and long waiting lists. Why put your patrons through that?”

I told Shamoon and George that some of the NTRLS libraries might be interested in this service. The two are willing to work with us on a consortium price and invoicing arrangements. If you are interested, please let me know. If I get enough interest, I will pursue the matter further.

If you are interested in Bookswim, Shamoon and George also told me that they are looking for willing library directors to work with them on designing different service offerings. In essence, they want a library director to help them try out new things in a pilot project format. If you are interested in helping them out, please let me know and I will set up a time for all of us to chat.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wikipedia scanner

Judy Daniluk is our web/IT specialist and she sent me the following email this morning.



Did you hear this story on NPR this morning? I think it ought to be mentioned on our blog.

A grad student at the California Institute of Technology has developed a tool that can scan Wikipedia, partially trace the users that are modifying the articles, and show which user made which changes. It shows that in many cases the articles are being slanted by "interested parties." For example, negative information in an article about Wal-Mart was deleted by someone using a Wal-Mart corporate computer. The story cites other examples concerning Dow Chemical, Diebold, and Exxon-Mobil.

The changes are only traced as far as the IP address of a computer inside a particular company, so there's no proof that the changes are being made by company employees, but the implication is strong.

Wikipedia has never claimed to be an authoritative, unbiased source of information, but many people, not understanding the nature of the wiki format, tend to accept it that way. This new tool may help people realize that it is important to confirm their facts with other information sources .

The NPR story can be found at
The story in Wired magazine, which the NPR story references, can be found at


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Electricity from body heat

I found this info on the web today, and thought I would share it with all of you. Harnessing electricity from body heat. Pretty interesting stuff! Heres the URL and a snipit of info about it:

Making calls from a cell phone with no battery, using just the warmth of your hand? Perhaps that’s no more than a pipe dream right now. But new circuits are already making it possible to harness body heat for generating electricity.

Numerous items of medical equipment are attached to the body of a patient in the intensive care ward. They monitor the heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, pulse and breathing rate. This tends to produce quite a jumble of cables, for all these devices require their own electricity supply.

In future, medical sensors may be able to function without power from a wall socket. Instead, they will draw all the power they need from the warmth of the human body. The respective data will be sent by a radio signal to the central monitoring station.

The Hollywoord Librarian

The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians Through Film is complete, and had its red-carpet premiere at the American Library Association annual conference in Washington, DC on June 22, 2007 to over 4,000 librarians and friends.
It is the first movie ever on the subject of the real lives and actual work of U.S. librarians. Using the “hook” of Hollywood motion picture clips, it introduces the audience to all kinds of librarians: school and children’s librarians, special librarians (medical and corporate), academic librarians, library educators and graduate students, a cataloger, and public librarians. Beginning with the history of information organization – Hypatia and the Library of Alexandria – it then touches on Andrew Carnegie, Melvil Dewey, and early women library professionals. Moving on into the 21st century, the documentary gives audiences the chance to peer into the world of librarians: the skills and passion it takes, the challenges of book censorship, and most of all, declining library funding.
The Hollywood Librarian is appropriate for audiences from young adult up. It runs 95 minutes (also known as “feature length”).

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New York Public Library Prints Classics on Demand

Here is an interesting article on NYPL's newest service. If you are interested in buying the printer, you can read about it here. It only costs $100,000.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission Flickr Account

TSLAC has a flickr account. For those who do not know, flickr is a photo sharing site. Not much on the TSLAC account yet, but check back for additional photoes.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Putting a Value on Your Library at Budget Time

At a time when many city and county librarians are defending budget proposals for the coming fiscal year, a rare opportunity is sitting on our doorstep yet about to be missed!

Next week, Joanne Roukens, Executive Director of the Highlands
Regional Library Cooperative (HRLC) in Denville, NJ, will present an NTRLS workshop entitled Valuing Libraries: Demonstrating the Contributions Libraries Make to Their Communities. Having seen the handouts and PowerPoint content, I'm concerned about how many library administrators, Board Members and Friends could probably use the information during this time of budgets yet have NOT signed up.

The all-day workshop will be offered Wednesday, August 1 in Decatur and Friday, August 3 at NTRLS Headquarters, 6320 Southwest Blvd. in Fort Worth.

Participants will:
• Learn to define what is valuable to customers and stakeholders
• Be able to identify and quantify their library’s value
• Learn tools and skills necessary to demonstrate library impact in writing and presenting.

All NTRLS workshops are available to interested parties at no cost. Please feel free to invite your Friends group, board members and volunteers.

To register online, go to and click on the Continuing Education button on the right.

Friday, July 20, 2007

More About LibraryThing for Libraries at Bedford Public Library

In response to all of the questions that were generated by the previous posting about LibraryThing for Libraries, Barbara Johnson has sent the following information:

The process was really easy. I read about LibraryThing for Libraries and thought it would be a great catalog enhancement so I contacted the company ( They had me send them a tab delimited file of ISBNs, authors and titles from which they set up a demo. Once the demo was tested, they had me incorporate a few simple html snippets into my OPAC. LibraryThing used some CSS to make the style fit seamlessly with our OPAC design. Bedford uses Innovative Interfaces so the process for doing this may vary depending on your ILS. That was pretty much it. There was some tweaking and when there were problems LibraryThing came up with a solution. The people were very easy to work with and the whole process took only about a month. I encourage other libraries to consider using it. LibraryThing LibraryThing for Libraries Thing-ology Blog See Example - Cozy Mysteries

International Edible Book Festival.

An edible book is something shaped like a book, or that refers to a title or type of book, and you can eat it! There are many great ideas for refreshements for library events. To see examples of edible cookies, go to the festival page.

Orginally reported in Folusa's News Update, July 2007 edition.


Hi folks,

Just wanted to inform you, if some of you haven't heard yet, that the State library is running a project called plinkit. It is open source software for you to use to manage and create a wbesite. There are several ways to use the software for your needs, but primarly, the State Library will allow you to create a website and have them host it for you. If you are interested in having a website using plinkit, please feel free to contact me at the system office. My email is and the phone number here is 800-856-3050. Everyone is able to use it, but theres only one of me to get to all of you so this will be addressed as a first come first serve priority response.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

LibraryThing at Bedford Public Library

from Barbara Glassford Johnson, Technical Services Manager/Systems Administrator at Bedford Public Library:

Bedford Public Library recently implemented LibraryThing for Libraries in its catalog. We've posted info about it on our web site.

I think other libraries might be interested in it. The process of working with the folks at LibraryThing was super easy, and it has provided some great new functionality in our catalog. 817.952.2335
Bedford Public Library adds LibraryThing for Libraries

Bedford Public Library became the second library in the nation to add
LibraryThing for Libraries to its online catalog. The new Amazon-like
feel to the online catalog is sure to appeal to patrons of all ages.
See us mentioned in LibraryThing's Thing-ology blog.
LibraryThing for Libraries will enhance our online catalog by allowing
users to view other editions, similar books and to search for items
using tags.
Other editions and translations: Links to audiobook editions and
Spanish-language versions of a title. See the title Foreign
Similar books: Lists of similar books based on data from LibraryThing
and its members. See the title The Yiddish Policemen's Union.
Tags and Tag Browser: Tags are keywords and labels used by regular
people to categorize books as opposed to Library of Congress subject
headings which use a controlled vocabulary of predefined and
authorized terms. The tags come from LibraryThing's 17 million
member-added tags.
A simple "tag cloud" highlights some of the more popular terms people
use to describe a book. The larger a word appears in the "tag cloud"
the more people have used that term to describe the title thus it is
more relevant to the search. Tags with very low relevance appear very
small and may be meaningful only to the person who assigned it. Take a
look at this example: Cozy mysteries.
Incorporating LibraryThing for Libraries into our catalog will open up
valuable new ways for patrons to find books of interest to them. We
hope you enjoy this new catalog functionality.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

TSLAC Rule Revisions

I received the following email from Deborah Littrell, Director, Library Development division at TSLAC. It goes over the proposed rule changes to Membership requirements. If you would like to comment on these rule changes, please go here.

I forgot to discuss this at the meeting on Thursday. We posted some minor rule revisions after the commission meeting in June. See the June 29 issue of the Texas Register

The comment period extends until July 29. Please note that comments should be sent in writing to Chris Jowaisas. Most of this is clean-up of wording and deleting outdated material.

There is one item to note - rule 1.81 we propose adding this for population groups 25,000 and over: employ a library director for at least 40 hours per week in library duties

This mirrors the requirement for libraries serving under 25,000.

Note also the addition to 1.84 to handle the issue of librarians who had been grandfathered into a grade one certificate.

Please share with your members and let me know if you have any questions. Thanks

Photo Synth

I found this new technology that I think will revolutionize the way we handle photos, books and magazines at libraries and also the web as we know it today. Think of this as Super Microfiche. Please click the link for the demo below:


P.S. heres a link to the online demo of the product, you will need to install the active x when prompted:

NTRLS Certified Library Computer Technologist Class

Hi folks,

This is my first blog post, and I just wanted to say that the first NTRLS Certified Library Computer Technologist class was a success. We had a full class and I look forward to seeing all of you at the next one. Also I would like to share that we will be doing 2 sessions of the classes. The second session of part 1 is being held in Wichita Falls at George Moffett Library at MWSU for the western libraries in our system.

See ya'll there

Monday, July 16, 2007

System Coordinator and Consultant Meetings

I spent Thursday and Friday in Austin at the System Coordinator and System Consultant meetings. Here are some highlights:

Coordinator's Meeting:

- Deborah Littrell advised us to remind System members that the amount of local funding support needed for System membership went up in FY2007 and will continue to increment until 2015. If you do not meet this membership criteria, your library will be placed on probation. Your library will then have three years to make up the difference before losing System membership.

- Dr. Lwey Hing Jeng, director of TWU SLIS, spoke briefly on their new MLS program for small libraries. You can find more information here.

- Debra Gibson reminded all the coordinators about the NETLS Media Program. This program is a collection of public performing videos which can be checked out and shown at your library. NTRLS is paying the fee to allow all NTRLS member libraries to participate.

-External Funding Request Prior Approval forms were introduced. These forms will need to be filled out by Systems before pursuing any activities to raise external funds. NTRLS has already filled out one for adding fee-based services to

-Wendy Clark went over the first draft of awards granted through the Loan Star Libraries program. The final grant awards will be announced in August. If you want to your listed award on the draft document, please let me know.

-Long Range Plans for 2010 and 2011 are due to TSLAC by February 1, 2008. NTRLS will be working closely with NTRLS staff, NTRLS Board of Directors and member libraries on constructing the plan. At the same time, NTRLS will also putting together a fresh five year plan for 2009 to 2013. TSLAC went over the firs preliminary draft of the long range plan guidelines.

Consultant's Meeting
At this meeting, each System shared what they had planned for 2008. TSLAC then shared their planned activities for 2008. Lots of neat workshops on the horizon all over the state. For more information, check out the CE portal. We also discussed the Plinkit program, which is a web hosting service that TSLAC is launching where libraries can create websites at no cost. If you are interested in participating in Plinkit, please contact Adam Beatty at the System office. It was also revealed that in 2008 there will be a Teen Reading Club along with the usual Summer Reading Club. Great Stuff.